Hello Roon Community,
I’ve been a Roon user for several months, and have been lurking awhile—super impressed by the knowledge, passion, and helpfulness of so many folks here, as well as the ongoing participation of Team Roon. I’m looking for some advice on taking the next step with Roon and hoping one or more of you might point me in the right direction.
Context: I was an early Sonos customer, getting my first gear back in 2006, some of which is still in use. Up until a few days ago, The majority of my digital music was stored on a ReadyNasPro, roughly 10TB and about 150K tracks. While that surpasses the Sonos library size limitation, as quite a bit of that was Grateful Dead, Phish, Umphrey’s McGee etc, I was able to use a combination of Nugs.net subscription and ReListen.net to move those artists to a separate share, and use a variety of other playlisting “tricks” to get the job done. However, after many years of great service, the ReadyNasPro has given up the ghost and it is dead beyond repair. The good news—everything is backed up to an external hard drive (which itself is backed up to ANOTHER drive stored offsite).
I’ve started running Roon on a 2018 Mac Mini with the aforementioned external hard drive and feeding that into my KEF LS50W speakers and Sonos endpoints. It’s been a near game-changer, as having access to the entire library (plus Tidal) and access my high res & DSD files has been rather great. HOWEVER…the Mac Mini is a bit underpowered, choking a lot on library scans, or playing to multiple zones, or when doing non-Roon-related tasks. I’ve optimized everywhere I can but I’m a bit past the point of hobbyist/tinkering and want to get a more robust solution. So…I’m thinking about going NUC or Nucleus/Nucleus+. Given the size of the library (150K FLAC tracks, plus lets say another 10K high res/other formats) plus wanting to continue with Tidal, and likely my kids using either Spotify/Apple*, what hardware would you recommend? Is an internal hard drive necessary? Will a custom NUC setup with a lot of RAM/horsepower allow for better growth future proofing than a Nucleus? I buy very few CDs these days but I do purchase both hi res music and FLACs via Bandcamp so the collection inevitably will grow. I’m reasonably technical but once I have to start mucking around with SSH/Telnet and customizing things, or if the system isn’t rock solid/easy-to-use I’m going to have an unhappy family when they can’t play Jellyfish ‘Bellybutton’ for dinner prep singalong…I’m leaning towards Nucleus/Nucleus+ as that seems to be pretty much plug n play, has the advantage of supporting Roon Inc and while the more expensive way to go may save me quite a bit of time. But…is it powerful enough to handle a library this size? Have enough room for growth?
I can stash it in another room and connect via wired Ethernet, or put it right in the Great Room if having HDMI access is recommended.
Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks in advance…
*why Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music you ask while scratching your head? Fair question…I’m an executive at a major label and I require access to these services for a variety of sales/marketing/analytics reasons. Plus, one learns a lot from watching both tech savvy teens and a comparatively un-tech-savvy spouse navigate a variety of different platforms.